Zend Framework InlineScript helper hack

Pepe -_blacky_- Jiménez has been kind enough to act as special guest in this blog and write about a hack he found, when including Javascript chunks into PHP files, while using Zend Framework’s InlineScript view helper.

If you are looking for a talented web frontend programmer I can only speak good words about this bloke.

Why this hack?

Syntax highlighting is essential for developers. If you are familiar with Zend Framework you will know that InlineScript view helper doesn’t need the <script> tag. The reason is simple, that tag is automatically included at the view rendering stage. There is one big disadvantage however when you are developing in your favorite IDE… No syntax highlighting for your JavaScript piece of code.

When I noticed that, I searched for a solution at Google. No luck this time… So I started thinking how to solve this issue. As far as I know, IDEs detect JavaScript language in source files thanks to the <script> tag, so that should be a good start. If we could find a way to keep the tag in the source file and remove it before rendering it the problem would disappear.

How it works?

The InlineScript inherits from HeadScript who is responsible for introducing JavaScript content (literal source code or file). Taking a look at the HeadScript __call method, the createData function is the best candidate to solve this tag issue. If we look at Zend Framework’s source code, the 3rd parameter is the one containing our JavaScript code (potentially including the <script> tag).

Once we have this function located is very easy to remove the <script> tag. We just need to create a custom view helper extending Zend Framework’s one in order to override the createData method. At this point take a look at the source code below to see how it works.

I hope this post will prove useful to other developers who have been in the same situation as me.

Note: Don’t forget that custom view helpers prefix and paths have to be properly configured in your application to be automatically loaded and used.


     * Remove <script> tags
     * @author      Jose Luis Jiménez <jljc.work@gmail.com>
    class Pepe_Zend_View_Helper_InlineScript extends Zend_View_Helper_InlineScript
       * Create data item containing all necessary components of script
       * @param  string $type
       * @param  array $attributes
       * @param  string $content
       * @return stdClass
      public function createData($type, array $attributes, $content = null)
        // Replace <script> tag
        if (!empty($content)) {
          $content = preg_replace('@^\s*<script[^>]*>@i', '', $content);
          $content = preg_replace('@</script>\s*$@i', '', $content);

        // Call parent
        return parent::createData($type, $attributes, $content);